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Whoever wins the ANC leadership battle next week will face a binary choice in the New Year: shift the economy onto a markedly higher growth path, or continue to muddle along until the next crisis arrives. Though financial markets will celebrate a victory for the anti-Jacob Zuma camp, and confidence should rebound strongly in an initial bout of euphoria, some economists fear that growth in 2018 is likely to be pedestrian even if Cyril Ramaphosa wins the ANC presidency. There are several reasons for this. First, as Ramaphosa is beholden to the Left for electoral support, he will find it difficult to implement certain market-friendly economic reforms, including liberalising the labour market or curtailing public sector wages and employment. Consider that Ramaphosa’s "new deal" proposes that SA’s primary focus should not be on achieving faster growth, but on creating "decent jobs". This is a policy term championed by organised labour that bit the dust when the National Development Plan ...

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